Chickpea "Crab Cakes"

  • Yield: 8 servings


1cup dried chickpeas
1 1/2cups finely chopped onion (not quite 1 large onion)
2cloves garlic, crushed
1/2cup fresh cilantro or parsley, or 1/4 cup each, chopped
1/2teaspoon baking powder
2teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/8teaspoon cayenne
1/2teaspoon dry mustard
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2cup vegetable oil
8-- soft hamburger buns or English muffins



  1. Cover the chickpeas with water and soak for at least 8 hours at room temperature. (If your kitchen is very warm, you may want to place in the fridge to minimize chances of fermentation.) Drain and set aside. You will end up with 2 cups of soaked chickpeas.
  2. Using a food processor or heavy-duty blender, pulverize the chickpeas, using the “pulse” function. Pulverize until the beans just form a paste that sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. Be careful not to overprocess the chickpeas; too smooth, the batter will fall apart when cooking.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) and combine using the “pulse” function. After being pulsed approximately twelve times, the batter will be somewhat grainy and speckled with herbs.
  4. Refrigerate the batter for about 1 hour, until firm.
  5. Meanwhile, make the yogurt remoulade or cocktail sauce (details follow). Remove the batter from the fridge and shape into patties, using a scant 1⁄3-cup measure. Be careful not to overhandle the batter. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Place the patties on a plate or baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Return to the fridge and chill for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. In a shallow 12-inch skillet, heat . cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the patties into the hot oil in small batches (don’t crowd the pan) and fry the first side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. (If you’re the impatient sort, set a timer and relax. These things don’t like to be fussed with.)
  8. Gently turn onto the second side and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray to finish cooking in the oven for 8 minutes. (Before frying the next batch, heat the remaining oil.) The patties will have a somewhat drier appearance on the outside, which is a good thing.
  9. Serve on a bun with the remoulade, cocktail sauce, or a schmear of mustard-mayo.

–From the book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, by Kim O’Donnel.  Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2010